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Hawaii on the Hill exhibition kicks off for second year in Washington, D.C.

More than 50 companies from Hawaii are converging on Capitol Hill this week for the second annual Hawaii on the Hill event, which kicked off on Tuesday with a reception at Google's Washington, D.C., headquarters.

In all, more than 80 business owners and industry officials, including those from the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association and Innovate Hawaii, are attending the two-day gathering, which includes the Taste of Hawaii on Capitol Hill reception and policy summit with federal officials and lawmakers.

"Many of the people who are participating this year participated last year, so says to me that they found the experience to be worthwhile," Sen Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, told PBN on Tuesday. "The other aspect to Hawaii on the Hill is the policy summit that brings together members of the administration to talk story or touch bases with me and businesses in Hawaii."

“One of the chamber’s main goals is to advance Hawaii’s reputation as a place to do and conduct business," Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara told PBN in an email. "In addition to sharing the aloha spirit with our nation’s leaders, this event is a key opportunity to showcase Hawaii’s businesses and industries, and the state as a whole. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both participants and attendees of last year’s event, and we’re excited to see this initiative continue to grow and promote our local sectors."

"The main thing is that, like anything else, we need to be here on a regular basis, so that people from the administration know that companies in Hawaii want to interact with them and access their support," Hirono said. "It's also important for people from the administration to be aware of the variety of business and entrepreneurial activities that we have in Hawaii, so it's important for both sides to be aware of what's going on. In my view, any time that administrative agencies can recognize the unique challenges that Hawaii's businesses often face, then I think they are able to better able to understand and be supportive and helpful."

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